Mountain West Recap for 4/20

San Diego St. 16 @ UNLV 20

Utah 8 @ New Mexico 15

Air Force 13 @ N. Colorado 12

Runs Easy To Come By For Rebels
LAS VEGAS – UNLV baseball torched San Diego State pitching for 19 hits in a 20-16 win on Sunday at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, giving the Rebels a Mountain West Conference series victory.

After falling behind 9-4 heading into the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Rebels dropped the hammer, scoring 16 runs over the next four innings to earn the win. The wind was once again blowing out and the 561 fans were treated to yet another offensive show by both teams.

“Any time you get a series win against a conference opponent is key,” UNLV head coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. “The conditions were not great all weekend with the wind, and to come back again today was amazing.”

UNLV improved to 18-20 on the year and 7-8 in MWC games, with Michael Goodman (1-1) coming out the pen and earning the win, as he was on the hill when the Rebels made their charge. SDSU dropped to 23-17 overall and 10-5 in league games, as reliever Brandon Villalobos (0-1) could not make a five-run lead hold.

Junior outfielder Rance Roundy gave UNLV the lead back in the bottom of the sixth, hitting a triple to the left-center gap with the bases loaded, and then he scored on an errant throw to third. That made it a 12-9 lead for the Rebels and it capped a five-run frame in which the Rebels scored the first run in the inning on a bases-loaded walk to Braden Walker.

The two teams were not done scoring runs, but every time SDSU scored in the top half of a frame, UNLV had an answer in the bottom.

It was a series dominated by offense, as the two teams combined for 91 runs and 111 hits, including 18 home runs. The only starting pitcher to work more than five was Stephen Strasburg of San Diego State, who worked seven scoreless in Friday’s series opener.

UNLV jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, scoring three runs in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Walker, and then RBI singles by Michael Brenly and Roundy and, then another in the second on a ground out.

From there the Aztecs would score the game’s next eight runs to move out in front, 8-4 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning.

SDSU got three in the third on a two-run home run by Troy Hanzawa and then a solo shot by Nick Romero. The Aztecs picked up four in the fourth, with two runs coming on a double by Hanzawa followed by a two-run home run by Green. Bubba Ruddy capped the Aztec scoring barrage with an RBI double in the fifth for an 8-4 advantage.

The Rebels cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs in the inning to make it a one-run game, doing it by getting only two hits in the frame. UNLV scored the first run on a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, followed by a walk that scored a run and then a double-play that pushed the third run across the plate.

Hanzawa hit his second home run of the game in the sixth, a solo shot with one out, that gave the Aztecs a 9-7 lead, but that would be their last lead of the game.

Brenly finished the game with three hits, four RBI and four runs scored, while slugger Xavier Scruggs was pitched around, drawing four walks. But the Rebel bats behind him made SDSU pay for the free passes, as Scruggs scored five runs and also added an RBI single. Hanzawa finished the game with five RBI and four runs scored while going 3-for-6 at the plate.

Lobos Sweep Utah; Move Into First Place
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Starter Stephen Smith earned his fourth win of the season and first baseman Kevin Atkinson was 4-of-5 from the plate as the University of New Mexico baseball team sweep the weekend series with Utah, 15-8, this afternoon at Lobo Field. The win moved the Lobos (27-14, 11-4 MWC) into a tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference. Utah is now 13-20 overall and 3-8 in MWC action.

Smith (4-1) threw 5.2 innings and did not give up a hit until the top of the third. The senior from Gilbert, Ariz., struck out three, walked two, and gave up one earned run on seven hits. John James (2-5) took the loss for the Utes.

“All year long when I’ve pitched we’ve struggled a little bit, but we got some runs in the first inning and it felt good to pitch with a lead,” said Smith. “I felt like I did good, throwing strikes, going after their hitters, and just pitching my game. It will be nice to have a week off from conference play this week, but we can’t take these upcoming games lightly.”

Brian Cavazos-Galvez hit a triple in the bottom of the first inning to drive in Mike Brownstein and Matt Hibbitts, and give the Lobos a 2-0 lead. Atkinson got his first hit of the game on the next at-bat, a single to drive in Cavazos-Galvez, 3-0.

Scott Gracey got Coty Wilson across the plate in the second on a groundout, 4-0.

Utah got on the scoreboard in the fourth when catcher Jesse Shriner knocked in Dustin Hennis, 4-1.

Wilson scored a second time in the fourth on Brownstein’s third single of the game, 5-1.

The Lobos got five runs in the fifth inning on four hits, including doubles by Atkinson and Wilson to build the lead to 10-1. Utah responded with three runs in the sixth to cut the Lobo lead to 10-4.

Ian Hollick and Hibbitts had back-to-back doubles to start a four-run sixth for the Lobos, 14-4. Hibbitts scored again in the seventh on a wild pitch to build the Lobo lead, 15-4.

With two outs in the eighth, Utah picked up four runs on a single by Michael Beltran and a three-run homerun by Cody Guymon, 15-8.

Atkinson led the Lobos at the plate, 4-of-5, with two runs scored and three RBI. Brownstein, Hibbitts, and Wilson each had three hits, while Hollick and Gracey had two each. Hibbitts scored four runs in the win.

Baseball Splits Final Day Of Triangular
GREELEY, Colo. – For those offensively minded fans of baseball, runs were the theme of the day at Northern Colorado as the Bears defeated Utah Valley 13-11 in the first game before falling 13-12 in the second contest against Air Force. The Bears move to 14-24 on the year and are now 7-4 at home this season.

In the first game against Utah Valley, the Bears had four three-run innings en route to a 13-11 victory. The Bears had a 13-4 lead and the Wolverines rallied, much like NC did against UV yesterday. Northern Colorado tallied its 13 runs on 14 hits and committed three errors, while Utah Valley had 11 runs on 16 hits and notched two errors.

Senior short stop Cory Morales and junior center fielder Erik Hegstad each had three hits on the day. Morales was 3-for-6 with two runs and one RBI, while Hegstad was 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored. Senior Chad Murray had six plate appearances but just at bat as he walked four times and was hit by a pitch. In his only at bat, he doubled to score two.

Junior designated hitter Kevin Sandberg and junior right fielder Mike Raudenbush also had multi-hit days with two base knocks each.

The Bears held the 13-4 lead after seven complete innings when the Wolverines mounted a comeback scoring three runs in the eighth and four runs in the ninth, but reliever Dan Kazell recorded a strike out to end the game and earn his second save of the year.

Senior right-hander Chris Reap (4-4) won the game for the Bears, pitching 7.1 innings. He gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out five, walking no one. Cody Henry threw one inning, surrendering four runs on four hits and Kazell threw getting both batters he faced out.

Aaron Brady took the loss for the Wolverines after giving up nine runs on 10 hits to move to 2-4 on the year.

In the second contest, the Bears exploded for eight runs in the third inning. Freshman T.J. Berge started things off with a triple down the right field line. He scored on a fielder’s choice, sliding under the tag applied by the catcher. Later in the frame, Sandberg hit a two-run homer to left center.

Air Force chipped away at the lead scoring three in the fourth. The Bears got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by catcher Erik Whinery. The Falcons then scored five in the sixth and took the lead in the seventh inning with four runs for the 12-9 tally. They added one more in the eighth to extend the lead to four, 13-9.

Three runs were plated by the Bears in the eighth inning as the Falcons used three hurlers in the frame to make it a one run game, 13-12, however they couldn’t continue the rally into the ninth and the game ended 13-12.

Senior left-handed pitcher threw the first 5.2 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out a season-high eight batters. Sean Peery threw just 0.1 and takes the loss (2-3) after surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits and walking two. Senior T.R. Keating threw 2.0 frames, giving up two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out three and Matt Buck pitched 0.2 striking out one in three batters faced. Dan Kazell came on to get the final out, striking out the only batter he faced.

Sandberg went 4-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Morales continued to hit well, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Murray and Horn also had multi-hit games with two each. The Bears scored 12 runs on 13 hits with two errors, while Air Force scored 13 runs on 15 hits with no errors.